KJAN Ag/Outdoor

From County extension to conservation to grain prices, we provide lots of information every day on KJAN.  Here is some of that information on the web too!  We hope you find it useful.

Protect Program Eligibility Before Working Wet Areas of Farm


October 31st, 2011 by Ric Hanson

According to USDA, net farm income in 2011 is forecasted to be the highest recorded (adjusted for inflation) since 1974. Fueled by several years of higher grain prices, farmers have been reinvesting some of this increased income into their operations. As seen in fields this fall, many producers are choosing to spend this money on installing tile drainage systems. Higher land prices have also caused many landowners to squeeze more production out of the acres they currently farm by removing fencerows, filling low areas and clearing trees. 

Conservationists with the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) warn producers to be cautious about wetland provisions when installing tile, clearing trees or completing other land altering measures. “Farmers and land managers need to protect their farm program benefits by first checking with their local office for a wetland determination prior to working in wet portions of their farms”, said Richard Sims, state conservationist for Iowa NRCS. 

To maintain eligibility, USDA participants must certify that they have not produced crops on wetlands converted after December 23, 1985, and that they did not convert a wetland to make agricultural production possible after November 28, 1990. Any activity that alters natural wetlands, making the production of an agricultural commodity or forage crop more possible is prohibited. These conversion activities may include:

        •      Filling

        •      Draining (surface ditching or subsurface tiling)

        •      Land leveling

        •      Clearing woody vegetation where stumps are removed

        •      Diverting run-off water from a wetland (i.e. building a diversion) 

If found in violation, farmers would lose eligibility for USDA programs, Sims said. For more information or to request a wetland determination, please visit your local USDA Service Center- NRCS Office, 705 NE 6th Street, Suite E, Greenfield; phone: 641/743-6124.

Disaster assistance sign-up for 2010 crop losses begins Nov. 14th


October 28th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Guthrie County USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) Director Daniel Curry says that the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments (SURE) program enrollment for 2010 crop losses, begins Nov. 14th.  Curry says “Producers across the state experienced several natural disasters during the 2010 crop year, that caused hardship and financial losses to many agricultural operations.” The SURE program provides assistance to producers when disasters strike.

Guthrie County has been designated as a Secretarial Disaster area. Curry encourages producers with 2010 crop losses to contact his officerto learn more about the program. To qualify for the SURE program, a producer must have at least a 10-percent production loss that affects one crop of economic significance. To meet eligibility requirements, producers must have obtained a policy or plan of insurance for all insurable crops through the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation, and obtained Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) coverage on non-insurable crops, if available from the FSA.

For more information on the SURE program eligibility requirements, contact the Guthrie County FSA officer at 1-641-332-2640, or visit www.fsa.usda.gov/sure on the web.

USDA Report 10-27-2011

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

October 27th, 2011 by Chris Parks

w/ Denny Heflin from the Audubon County FSA


Ornamental and Turfgrass Applicators Course Offered November 9th in Cass Co.


October 26th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Cass County ISU/Extension office say an Ornamental and Turfgrass Applicators Continuing Instructional Course (CIC) for commercial pesticide applicators will be offered on Wednesday, November 9th. The program can be seen at locations across Iowa through the Iowa State University Extension Pest Management and the Environment (PME) program. The local attendance site is Cass County Extension Office. Registration begins at 1 p.m., and the course runs from 1:30 to 4 p.m. The registration fee is $35 on or before Nov. 2nd,  and $45 after Nov. 2nd.  To register or to obtain additional information about the CIC, contact Stephanie Garber at the ISU Extension office in Cass County by phoning 712-243-1132. 

The course will provide continuing instructional credit for commercial pesticide applicators certified in categories 2, 3O, 3T, 3OT and 10. Topics to be covered include effects of pesticides on groundwater and other nontarget sites; phytotoxicity; pesticide stewardship; Iowa forest health update; and turfgrass herbicide research updates. Additional information and registration forms for this and other courses being offered by the PME program can be accessed at www.extension.iastate.edu/PME.

Cass County Extension 10-26-2011

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

October 26th, 2011 by Chris Parks

w/Kate Olsen


Posted County Prices 10-26-2011


October 26th, 2011 by Chris Parks

Cass County: Corn $6.10, Beans $11.53

Adair County: Corn $6.07, Beans $11.56

Adams County: Corn $6.07, Beans $11.52

Audubon County: Corn $6.09, Beans $11.55

East Pottawattamie County: Corn $6.13, Beans $11.53

Guthrie County: Corn $6.12, Beans $11.57

Montgomery County: Corn $6.12, Beans $11.55

Shelby County: Corn $6.13, Beans $11.53

Oats $2.67 (always the same in all counties)

Pottawattamie County receives a portion of $3.25 Million in REAP Grants

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 25th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources say Resource Enhancement and Protection (REAP) grants for fiscal year 2012 were recently approved by the Natural Resource Commission during its October meeting. Locally, Pottawattamie County was awarded a $67,500 REAP County Conservation Grant, for a project which proposes to add 26.1 acres to Hitchcock Nature Center (HNC).

The addition features remnant bur oak woodland and savanna and degraded pastures. The property will expand protection and restoration of important natural areas in the Loess Hills, will increase outdoor recreation opportunities at HNC, will protect a remnant of the original Old Lincoln Highway and will secure the site of the raptor banding station.

REAP has a 22-year, $272 million funding history for parks, soil, water and habitat improvements, roadside prairies, historical development and conservation education. The REAP Act has a formula that distributes funding to farmers, conservation organizations, educators, cities, counties, historians, and state projects. Funding comes from gaming revenues and sales of natural resource license plates. Legislators appropriated $15 Million in 2010 and $12 Million in 2011. Full funding of the REAP Act is $20 Million.

Deadline is approaching to enter America’s Farmers Grow Communities contest

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 25th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

A reminder to area crop producers interested in helping their communities or local youth organizations, that the deadline to enter the annual America’s Farmers Grow Communities Program, sponsored by the Monsanto Corporation, is a little over one-month away. Annie Kayser,  Community Outreach Coordinator for Monsanto, says the program was launched in 2010, and has resulted in investments of more than $3-million in local communities across the country during 2011. Every farmer in each of Iowa’s 99 counties who has 250-acres or more of corn or soybeans, or 40 acres of open field vegetables, and are 21-years of age or older, can sign-up for the opportunity to win $2,500. The funds will be donated to the winner’s choice of local non-profit organizations.

Kayser says there’s no purchase necessary to enter, and a purchase will not increase your chances of winning.  She says you don’t have to be a customer of Monsanto, either. Kayser says it’s all about advocating on behalf of farmers, who know where the funds would benefit their communities. The deadline to enter is November 30th. The winners will be randomly selected by a third party and announced in January, 2012.  The program not only benefits local non-profit groups. Kayser says for every farmer that enters the contest, Monsanto will donate $1 to the nearest United Way chapter. Since the program began, the three top recipients of cash awards have been FFA or 4-H groups, Fire Departments and local libraries. Kayser says in recent years, there’s also been a trend toward donating the funds to groups that feed the hungry. Kayser says there’s been a big increase in donations to local food pantries.

Among the local non-profit organizations selected in 2010 by winning area farmers to receive a portion of the funds provided by the America’s Farmers Grow Communities Program, was: the Massena, Audubon, Brayton, Greenfield, and Shelby Fire Departments; the Shelby County Fair Board, and Coon Rapids-Bayard FFA. Those organizations received their awards this past Spring. Last year’s winner in Cass County, was Louis Holste (Hole-stee), who selected the Massena Fire Department as the beneficiary of his $2,500. The funds were used to purchase a tanker truck.

For more information or to register to win, surf the web to www.growcommunities.com, or call 1-877-267-3332.

More dry weather speeds Iowa’s harvest

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 25th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa farmers are making good progress on the harvest as well as fall field work as the dry weather continues. The weekly crop report on Monday says the dry spell is affecting soil moisture, with topsoil moisture levels at 35 percent very short and 37 percent short.

The report shows 71 percent of the corn crop has been harvested, which is about two weeks ahead of the five-year average. Fifty-nine percent of the corn is in good to excellent condition. The soybean harvest is 95 percent complete, more than two weeks ahead of the average pace.

Rain totals for the week ranged from none over much of the northeast two-thirds of Iowa to .22 inches at Underwood in Pottawattamie County in western Iowa.

Romney talks about ethanol & federal price supports in Treynor

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 21st, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Mitt Romney

Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney says he’s “enough of a business guy” to want to review farm programs and federal price supports for corn and soybeans before saying what he would do as president.   “I’m not running for office based on making promises of handing out money, all right?” Romney said in Iowa Thursday. He made his comments in Treynor, during a roundtable discussion with about 14 local farmers and business leaders. Ethanol producer Rick Schwark told Romney the corn-based fuel has a ripple effect on the rural economy. 

“In our facility, we have 46 people that work directly at the plant, but each day we receive over 100 semis of corn,” Schwark said. “Those are trucks. Each have a truck driver.” Romney said he supported federal subsidies for ethanol to help get the industry on its feet, but the subsidies shouldn’t continue forever, according to Romney. Ward Chambers, a doctor who lives — and farms — in rural Treynor, calls that a gutsy stand for Romney.

“No more ethanol subsidies,” Chambers said. “That’s pretty strong stuff for southwest Iowa.” The federal subsidy for ethanol production is set to expire at the end of the year. Romney indicated he would like to see more a more gradual reduction in the tax break rather than an abrupt elimination. During an August visit to Iowa, Romney said he hoped to do “darned well” in the Caucuses. Yesterday in Treynor Romney began his conversation with the 14 people his campaign had invited to the event like this:  “There’s a good shot I might become the next president of the United States. It’s not a sure thing, but it’s a good shot and if I am, I will benefit by having heard from you.” Romney made three stops in Iowa Thursday, beginning in Sioux City and ending in Council Bluffs, where he met with about three dozen members of the Chamber of Commerce.

(Radio Iowa)